Grant and Kelly came to see Dr. Phil because Grant wanted his wife to keep a cleaner house, cook better meals and be sexier. Kelly says her husband's constant criticism and the pressure to be the perfect wife had her ready to throw in the towel. Dr. Phil checks in.
"I still think Kelly needs wife lessons," says Grant. "I would like her to improve in organizing closets and cupboards, washing dishes by hand, decorating windows, mopping floors, vacuuming the carpet, positioning of furniture, latin, hip-hop, country dancing."
"It's very evident that he still disapproves," says Kelly. "After the show, Grant was very frustrated. In an effort to find some resolution, he had me write down everything I expected from myself as a wife and him as a husband, and then he did the same thing."
As they discuss their lists, Kelly tells Grant all she can do is try her best. But that doesn't make Grant happy.
"Grant has not worn his wedding ring for maybe a year," explains Kelly. He won't discuss it with her either.
"I do have some resentment toward her. It makes me uncomfortable with wearing it," says Grant.
But Grant has made some improvements, such as no longer grading Kelly's meals ... Not out loud anyway. "I don't hear Grant verbally grading my meals, but I know that he's dissatisfied with how I cook," she says. "Sometimes Grant eats out on his way home. It makes me want to scream. Grant does not nag me as much as he used to. That is a big improvement. I can tell Grant's annoyed when he starts huffing, breathing very heavy. His disapproval is written all over his face."
"I feel like I'm the lowest man on the totem pole," says Grant. "I'll come home from work and she doesn't feel like going out. She spends all her time and energy chasing after kids."
Grant acknowledges that nothing much has changed. "Dr. Phil talked about having a critical spirit. I still have a lot of the same opinions and feelings that I had before the show, I'm just not expressing them. So they're kind of pent up like a volcano. I think the mountain will blow if the issues I have are not resolved."
"You have made some progress," Dr. Phil acknowledges about Grant, and Kelly agrees. "But to be honest, you're kind of white-knuckling right now. Your behavior has changed, but you're kind of gripping the chair and biting your tongue because still, inside, you feel the same way."
"That's exactly right," says Grant.
When they were on the show last, Grant was hoping to get wife lessons for Kelly. Instead, Dr. Phil focused on Grant's criticism of Kelly, which took Grant by surprise. "I got held under the microscope, and we got to take a real good look at Grant," he says.
"We got started," warns Dr. Phil, who explains, "We're talking about you because your position is so outrageous that it overshadows everything she does."
Grant brought some notes this time around, with questions for Dr. Phil. "The first concern I have is I am white-knuckling it, like you say, and that's not healthy. I think it's kind of postponing what I think is an explosion waiting to happen. What do I do? It's not natural yet, these changes I'm making. What do I do?"
Dr. Phil points out that Grant is an electrical engineer. "Which tells us two things. Number one, you're very intelligent, and number two, you may be slightly anal," he says. "It may be that you have a filter where you look at this, you define wife, you define relationship based on function, task, utility, efficiency, all those sorts of things, because that is how you would engineer a marriage."
"That's exactly right, because I'm very concerned with the mechanics of how things have to happen," explains Grant. "And we talk about it, and she says, 'Well, I don't feel emotionally validated,' and it's like, where did that come from? That's not part of the getting the things done. We can address that, but ... I guess there's part of 'it' I don't get. Everybody else seems to get 'it.'"
Dr. Phil asks Kelly, "And what do you mean? You want to feel how?"
"I want to feel accepted," says Kelly. "Somebody said to me about a month ago, they were talking to me about the difference between tolerating something and accepting something, and I realized that's how I feel. I feel like he's tolerating me, and I want him to accept me for who I am and how I am, and I want him to accept me on good days and bad days, and however I come, as long as I'm here and he's here and we're tying our best. I want him to just take me as I am."